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Old 02-25-2017, 12:37 PM   #21
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Yes, TOWING WITH CONFIDENCE, that's what we enjoy as well.

We chose our truck as a near perfect match for us and our Airstream. Great ride and handling, easy to drive when towing and parking our Airstream, and a great daily driver in town. We could have bought a larger truck but why. Higher center of gravity makes it less stable, less able to avoid an accident, more likely to roll over and injure occupants and others if it has one. It's hard to reason 2,000 lbs more weight is easier to stop when you have to. We don't have a dedicated exhaust brake because we don't need one, our truck's engine, transmission gearing, and truck and trailer service brakes can stop it easily and we are do not have the exhaust brake restriction on slippery roads to worry about. Our ProPride hitch distributes our loads easily and holds the combination absolutely rock solid in all weather, traffic and road conditions. And this truck gives us 17-19 mpg towing and 28-30 mpg solo.

Sorry, I don't see the issue towing with this vehicle so well-matched to our towing and daily driver needs.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:31 PM   #22
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ME I am not lost or confused well may be a little some times.
BUT I did see Someone posted the word SUE there is the problem and the answer.
Sure would like to hear what goes on between the Engineering Dept and the Legal Dept where they make anything for the public.
Attorneys have to always take care of their classmate that are on the other side of the fence.The ones doing the suing and I have never seen a Engineer that would admit he might be wrong.
So just load up and go.Forget all this GVW stuff.If it all goes wrong call one of the Lawyers that has a add on TV. This TV is for television not tow vehicle.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:34 PM   #23
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I'll begin by saying I'm in the first camp. An engineer by trade, I believe there is value in the vehicle specifications. While I have very little concern about getting stopped by the GVWR police, I am concerned about being examined by the attorney for someone injured in an accident in which I was a participant, whether or not I actually caused the accident. I have an Airstream so I obviously have deep pockets and represent a good target.

It does, as others have pointed out, come down to what you are comfortable with, but that comfort needs to be from an educated perspective. It would appear you are trying to do that. It isn't easy and there are a lot of opinions expressed in this and other threads. So I'll give you some of mine:

1. The published tongue weight is for the base trailer with no options. Look up the standard equipment for your trailer. Anything not on that list (including food, clothing, etc.) must be added to the "base weight" of the trailer and will, unless it is behind the axles, increase the tongue weight.

2. While the weight distribution hitch will transfer some weight off of the rear axle, more of that goes to the front axle of the TV than to the trailer.

3. "Tongue weight" is the weight placed on the ball by the trailer tongue. This doesn't decrease with WD, but the net effect of the WD is to reduce the vertical load on the TV's receiver. It does this by applying a torque.

The best way to figure out where you are is to weigh your combination. This is complicated, obviously, by the fact that you haven't made your selection yet. I weighed my truck twice, once at a nearby moving and storage company, and then again at a FJ truck stop to calibrate the M&S storage numbers. The M&S was correct to within 10 pounds or so. Here is what I found.

The following data is for a 2006 F-150 towing a 2001 Safari 25
TV FGAWR - 3900 (Front Gross Axle Weight Rating)
TV RGAWR - 3850 (Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating_
TV GVWR - 7200
Note that the GVWR is 550# less than the sum of the axle ratings. From this I chose to assume that something else (engine, transmission, brakes, etc.) was limiting the GVWR.
TV Payload - 1278
TV Max Tow - 8600 (Note: any payload must be subtracted from this number, per the operator's manual)

TT GVWR - 6300#
TV Tongue Weight - 680# (per specifications)

TV with me, a full load of fuel, some tools, but no trailer
Front Axle - 3480
Rear Axle - 2800
GVW - 6280

TV with Trailer but no WD applied
TV Front (aka Steer) - 2940
TV Rear (aka Drive) - 4200 (Overloaded)
TV GVW - 7140
TT (Total both axles) - 5080

Combination with same TV load plus trailer, WD applied
TV Front Axle (Steer) - 3260
TV Rear Axle (Drive) - 3740
TV GVW - 7000 (Only 200# left on the GVWR)
TT (Both Axles) - 5200

Conclusions I draw from this are:
Actual Tongue Weight - 860# Subtract TV GVW in weighing 1 from weighing 2
Note: Almost 200# (23%) more than specified
Effective Tongue Weight - 720# Subtract TV GVW in weighing 1 from weighing 3
Reduction - 140# (about 16% of the "tongue weight")

In the above, my payload had already been reduced by a hard bed topper and the tools and miscellaneous stuff I had loaded. Just enough left for the DW (dear wife) and dogs.

Hope this is helpful.

Al
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:37 PM   #24
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"I don't have a dog in this fight but I do have to ask: "Has anyone on the Forum ever been stopped by a State Patrol Officer and had the vehicle placards checked or the rig weighed?"

Law Enforcement generally leave RVs alone UNTIL something goes wrong (think accident with 1: a fatality or 2: Serious Physical Injury or 3: major property damage). When such an event occurs, then an Accident Reconstruction Specialist or a Scales Unit is likely to be called in. The highly trained specialists that man these specialized units then goes to work and CAREFULLY look at EVERYTHING. Should it be determined that you have been operating in an unsafe/unlawful manner, you're likely to be ticketed and possibly charged criminally. Your tow vehicle and trailer may be impounded as evidence (leaving you stranded). You can also expect your insurance company to point out the fine print in your policy. Your unsafe/unlawful operation is grounds for them to deny coverage and cancel your policy (don't take my word; READ your policy). It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that you are operating within ALL LIMITS of your vehicle and equipment. ANYBODY towing anything other than a VERY lightweight trailer with a base model (ie F150) pick up is a fool. Such operators can for years, "get away" with it (especially on flat, dry ground under ideal conditions) but, tow a more substantial trailer/load and, eventually, Murphy"s Law will catch up to you. Many pickup truck drivers have "white knuckle" stories they'll usually share if asked. The only reason they "got away" with it was pure dumb luck.

If you're new to the RV lifestyle, do yourself a HUGE favor. Find and attend an RV Boot Camp. RVBC goes over and demystifies the issues you've raised and much, much more. The Escapees RV Club and the RVSEF are two groups that quickly come to mind that offer EXCELLENT RVBCs. Some insurance companies offer discounts to RVBC graduates. After completing an RVBC, you'll be a smarter RV buyer and, a safer RVer too.

Keep asking questions! Better to learn from the mistakes of others than to make them yourself.

Final note. In the tough fiscal times every jurisdiction faces, politicians are always looking for ways to bring in extra revenue. Just because RVers have been "given a pass" in the past, that's no guarantee that RVs won't be targeted in the future. Better to be safe and legal from the get go.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MWBishop View Post
Well, after a little research (and I apologize for the learning curve) I read that the WDH reduces the hitch weight be about 1/3.
So F150 Platinum Eco MaxTow 4x4 with "Do not Exceed Capacity" = 1568:
AS 26U = 600lbs (900 tongue weight - 300 using WDH).
Me, Wife , Dogs = 400lbs (and that's high).

That leaves around 550lbs capacity for emergency gear, lawn chairs, grill, step ladder, some firewood, etc. I know things add up fast, but I cannot fathom reaching 500 lbs. of camping gear and other misc. junk.

Appears that the F150 is certainly up to the task. Thank goodness because as much as I like the F250 I really do not want the extra expense, it's not really a good daily driver (25 miles round trip to work), and it just barely (if at all) would fit in my garage.

So I think I'm golden.
Just bought the F150 and I love it - really, really, really want/need to keep it.

Thank you to every one.
The knowledge-base on this forum is amazing.
It's not weight eliminating. It's weight distributing. The weight is still there just spread out throughout the truck's axles.

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Old 02-25-2017, 01:53 PM   #26
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Let's get some clarity here on the weight distribution hitch...it does NOT lessen the amount of weight on the TV at all; it merely redistributes the weight, moving some from the back axle to the front. So greatly exceeding the GVWR is not a particularly wise thing to do, recognizing that the mfg's spec is probably conservative.
Without a WD hitch most of all of the trailer tongue weight is on the TV rear axle. The WD hitch "moves" some of that weight to the independently sprung front wheels. This weight shift puts even more stress on the front wheel bearings, brakes, and steering mechanism. Again, if you are greatly exceeding the TV's GVWR you are probably shifting an unacceptably greater amount of weight to the front end than what the mfg ever designed it to handle. There are reasons why a pickup has a beefy rear axle (see mfg's rear axle GAWR), and advantages to keeping a good share of cargo and tongue weight on it.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:57 PM   #27
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GOING from memory, My 2015 F-150 'max tow' Ecobeast placard says "Max wt. 7000lbs.
I weighed mine last year, loaded for trip: 6200lbs. OK.
My 30' FC grosses at 8800 lbs.
Last year I averaged 8200 lbs.+/_ a little.
Works for me.��

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Old 02-25-2017, 02:09 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
I'll begin by saying I'm in the first camp. An engineer by trade, I believe there is value in the vehicle specifications. While I have very little concern about getting stopped by the GVWR police, I am concerned about being examined by the attorney for someone injured in an accident in which I was a participant, whether or not I actually caused the accident. I have an Airstream so I obviously have deep pockets and represent a good target.

It does, as others have pointed out, come down to what you are comfortable with, but that comfort needs to be from an educated perspective. It would appear you are trying to do that. It isn't easy and there are a lot of opinions expressed in this and other threads. So I'll give you some of mine:

1. The published tongue weight is for the base trailer with no options. Look up the standard equipment for your trailer. Anything not on that list (including food, clothing, etc.) must be added to the "base weight" of the trailer and will, unless it is behind the axles, increase the tongue weight.

2. While the weight distribution hitch will transfer some weight off of the rear axle, more of that goes to the front axle of the TV than to the trailer.

3. "Tongue weight" is the weight placed on the ball by the trailer tongue. This doesn't decrease with WD, but the net effect of the WD is to reduce the vertical load on the TV's receiver. It does this by applying a torque.

The best way to figure out where you are is to weigh your combination. This is complicated, obviously, by the fact that you haven't made your selection yet. I weighed my truck twice, once at a nearby moving and storage company, and then again at a FJ truck stop to calibrate the M&S storage numbers. The M&S was correct to within 10 pounds or so. Here is what I found.

The following data is for a 2006 F-150 towing a 2001 Safari 25
TV FGAWR - 3900 (Front Gross Axle Weight Rating)
TV RGAWR - 3850 (Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating_
TV GVWR - 7200
Note that the GVWR is 550# less than the sum of the axle ratings. From this I chose to assume that something else (engine, transmission, brakes, etc.) was limiting the GVWR.
TV Payload - 1278
TV Max Tow - 8600 (Note: any payload must be subtracted from this number, per the operator's manual)

TT GVWR - 6300#
TV Tongue Weight - 680# (per specifications)

TV with me, a full load of fuel, some tools, but no trailer
Front Axle - 3480
Rear Axle - 2800
GVW - 6280

TV with Trailer but no WD applied
TV Front (aka Steer) - 2940
TV Rear (aka Drive) - 4200 (Overloaded)
TV GVW - 7140
TT (Total both axles) - 5080

Combination with same TV load plus trailer, WD applied
TV Front Axle (Steer) - 3260
TV Rear Axle (Drive) - 3740
TV GVW - 7000 (Only 200# left on the GVWR)
TT (Both Axles) - 5200

Conclusions I draw from this are:
Actual Tongue Weight - 860# Subtract TV GVW in weighing 1 from weighing 2
Note: Almost 200# (23%) more than specified
Effective Tongue Weight - 720# Subtract TV GVW in weighing 1 from weighing 3
Reduction - 140# (about 16% of the "tongue weight")

In the above, my payload had already been reduced by a hard bed topper and the tools and miscellaneous stuff I had loaded. Just enough left for the DW (dear wife) and dogs.

Hope this is helpful.

Al
Al, this post is interesting to me because the axle ratings on your F150 are very close to the axle ratings on our Ram 1500. After we apply tension on our w.d. system, our truck axle loads are very near equal. The ride is smooth and the handling and braking are excellent. I have tried it with less load on the steering axle and the understeer was evident. No indication of oversteer with equal loads on the axles, it feels very good and has for thousands of miles towing throughout the country.

Looking at your front axle weight without the Airstream, and then with the Airstream and w.d. applied your w.d. system has not returned the front axle to it's unloaded weight. In street terms, the front axle is "floating" somewhat, loss of some steering control. That would indicate a w.d. system that is too light for the loads you are using, or simply not enough tension on the bars. I believe the truck would handle better and distribute a little more load to the trailer axles with better w.d. in this case.

I won't enter into the legal aspects of towing because I am not a lawyer, and have never seen the warnings routinely suggested here substantiated. In other words, dreamed up to augment a weak argument in practical terms.
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:29 PM   #29
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Two issues - a Weight Distribution hitch will move some weight to the trailer. The trailer axles are part of the distribution leverage. Also, the TV receiver must be able to carry all of the tongue weight. It is the center of the weight distribution leverage. A strong receiver is a good thing. Pat
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:37 PM   #30
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IMO if you're looking at a new f150, just order a HDP. It will take a little while to get, but insofar as a 150 goes, you wont have to worry about payload. A lariat will end up in range of 2300# payload [depending on options] and a 4800# rear GAWR. You'll pay roughly the same as a loaded non-HDP lariat.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:14 PM   #31
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IMO if you're looking at a new f150, just order a HDP. It will take a little while to get, but insofar as a 150 goes, you wont have to worry about payload. A lariat will end up in range of 2300# payload [depending on options] and a 4800# rear GAWR. You'll pay roughly the same as a loaded non-HDP lariat.
True, but this option is not available with the 5.5' bed. Always a compromise to make!
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:51 PM   #32
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It was a difficult decision for me to go from a 2015 Tundra to a 2016 Ram 2500. Im sure driving on smooth roads won't present much risk, however if you were to hit a pothole doing 65 (or less) you could potential break an axle if its overextended. I spoke with an ex-tow truck driving who said he had seen overweight vehicles with broken axles many many times because of this. I decided better to be safe than sorry towing my 25 footer. BTW I did take my Tundra to the scales and it was over both GVWR and GAWR with just me and my wife, and no gear in the back. Don't forget caps weigh over 100 lbs so take that into account. Funny how some people are sticklers regarding tire pressures, making sure they are exactly where they should be, but disregard manufacturers weight ratings.
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:59 PM   #33
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Funny how some people are sticklers regarding tire pressures, making sure they are exactly where they should be, but disregard manufacturers weight ratings.
Also funny how some people will quote manufacturers payload, tow and hitch weight ratings and lambaste anyone who disregards them.

But then they mount passenger tires or LT tires on their trailer even though tire manufacturers ( Michelin, Goodyear, Nokian, etc.) do not recommend, endorse or warranty the placement of those tires on a travel trailer.

And even though Airstream mounts some trailers with LT tires, Airstream will not warranty the tires or any damage to their trailers caused by tire damage,
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:25 PM   #34
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I have a 2015 F150 crew cab, 4x4. Here's a pic of the sticker. Reason it has such a nice payload number is that it's an XLT that doesn't have all the whistles and bells, like:

no step bars
no sliding rear window
no sun roof
no auto tailgate lift

now, it does have the tranny cooler, integrated brake control w/engine braking, backup camera ( the smaller screen one) etc.

Click image for larger version

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Old 02-25-2017, 07:37 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Also funny how some people will quote manufacturers payload, tow and hitch weight ratings and lambaste anyone who disregards them.

But then they mount passenger tires or LT tires on their trailer even though tire manufacturers ( Michelin, Goodyear, Nokian, etc.) do not recommend, endorse or warranty the placement of those tires on a travel trailer.

And even though Airstream mounts some trailers with LT tires, Airstream will not warranty the tires or any damage to their trailers caused by tire damage,
I do like when someone actually gives me something to think about.

1. Is definitely me
2. As I was reading it, I was trying to argue/rationalize and every time I did I sounded like someone arguing to ignore GVWR (touché)
3. Didn't realize they did with GYMs

Okay, the quick answer is that they do spec the tires for different uses, with their derating figures, but I'll need to research it more for a better answer.

Hmmm. Points to ponder.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:39 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by majorairhead View Post
I have a 2015 F150 crew cab, 4x4. Here's a pic of the sticker. Reason it has such a nice payload number is that it's an XLT that doesn't have all the whistles and bells, like:

no step bars
no sliding rear window
no sun roof
no auto tailgate lift

now, it does have the tranny cooler, integrated brake control w/engine braking, backup camera ( the smaller screen one) etc.

Attachment 280471
Attachment 280472
Now for the numbers that matter. What's your axle ratings (GAWR) for each axle, and what is the load on each in this photo?
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Old 02-25-2017, 09:01 PM   #37
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Whoa!?

I really like Airforums and have learned so much from many people. Tonight, when I logged in I came to this thread and read through all the posts and was shocked at many justifications that people make to "break the rules" per se.

After reading MANY threads on this topic, I am convinced that people make this difficult because they often do not want to accept facts. I am quite flexible with open minded ideas but this is a topic that definitely follows rating, capacity, etc. Why violate the manufacturer limits?
On legality, most likely no one would ever inspect someone's setup for overload but, as others said, our world puts the responsibility of prevention on the owner and such checks would only be done if a suspect issue occurs- just like anything else. Exceed the speed limit every time you drive. May never get caught or just may get a ticket. Wreck into someone exceeding the speed limit and open yourself to potential issues.
I say this not to be mean but if your vehicle has a 1400# limit stamped on it, stuck on it, whatever, that is your limit. That limit refers to the truck in its entirety as configured, not to a front axle that might be shared across various configurations. That is only one component. Two of my teacher colleagues had a late model Honda minivan modded to haul their 32 or 34' trailer only to have the transmission burn up. It was able to drag the trailer around but it was overtaxed in other ways. They got rid of the trailer and the van.

Payload capacity means payload capacity.
Tow rating means tow (pulling) capacity.


One point I bring up, on the Curt hitch installation directions, setups for various makes of trucks is included. For Ford, when setting up the hitch, the compensation of weight is checked by wheel well height. While the WD hitch will lift the back end of the truck as adjusted, the front, lifted up by the extra weight can never be lower than original before hitched up height. Basically, no extra weight. I remember getting mine to 80# less than unhitched weight on the front. Curt tech support said that anything under 100# was great. This may not sound related to topic but it is an example of how WD hitches do not balance weight proportionately.

You were correct on stating that after tongue weight subtractions from payload capacity, is what you have left for people and cargo.

On using Truck tires on a trailer: While it is true that the market has two designations, ST and LT, manufacturers (some) have switched to using LT tires on trailers for several reasons. Both are designed for load bearing and while the only other trailer tire's advantage is related to "twist" on the sidewall, ironically, the side is the part that overheats and fails so often on ST tires.

I know that some do not agree. I just needed to add my opinion as well for what it is worth to someone else.
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Old 02-25-2017, 09:41 PM   #38
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Rod, it's really not about breaking any rules. What it is about is understanding how the truck's ratings apply to the job you are doing.

When hauling a load or towing a heavy trailer and no weight distribution hitch is used, the payload/GVWR is important. The payload/GVWR may keep you from overloading the back of the truck and making the vehicle a risk to drive down the road.

When hitched up to an Airstream with a capable, properly adjusted weight distribution hitch you can distribute the loads on the truck's axles and some to the Airstream axles. You can adjust the hitch w.d. to ensure no axles are overloaded. It is then the axle ratings (GAWR) that are important and the payload/GVWR means little to nothing.

Unfortunately, there has been so much emphasis in these forums on payload/GVWR, the ratings that actually make a difference in the safe setup of a towing combination are lost. People are told they must trade perfectly good trucks for more payload/GVWR even when the truck they have performs every towing task in the most exceptional way. Without explanation, they are told their truck is inadequate because of this single rating number payload/GVWR, that means little to nothing on a properly set up towing combination.

We should be stressing selection and set up of quality weight distribution systems, instead we waste time and people's money on something as insignificant to a good towing combination as payload.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:47 AM   #39
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But then they mount passenger tires or LT tires on their trailer even though tire manufacturers ( Michelin, Goodyear, Nokian, etc.) do not recommend, endorse or warranty the placement of those tires on a travel trailer.
I've found what I thought I remembered reading before. The following quote is from the Tire Rack website.

"Also consider that Special Trailer (ST), as well as Light Truck (LT) tires are fully rated for trailer applications. This means ST- and LT-sized tires can carry the full weight rating branded on the sidewalls when used on a trailer.

However when P-metric or Euro-metric tires are used on a trailer, the load capacity branded on the sidewalls must be reduced by 9%."

I can't really imagine why anyone would choose to use a "P" rated tire for a trailer application, but with the proper accounting of the specs it says they should be able to.

Most manufacturers, seeking to make a profit, will not usually install the highest quality =higher cost components, so when the argument is that airstream puts the GYMs on I don't believe it's because it's the best product for it.

On the other hand, your argument is kind of apples to oranges, being that everything mentioned actually has specs that would only need to be followed to be used fairly safely. While the other side is just saying ignore all the specs except the ones that justify what you want to do.

Every post I make on this subject I try to include a link to justify/backup my point and in all my research I've never come across ANYTHING that states any limitation or specification could be disregarded based on another. To those who use this argument please link to where all the research can be located. Before you link to Andy's stories about what he's done and thinks doesn't really count, unless he's publishing his work, getting the regulations changed, backing all his "testing" up with the data behind it.

I get that he will weld a heavy duty hitch to the frame of the vehicle for a solid/rigid connection, this does not change the fact that towing something almost twice the weight of the TV, on a single ball hitch is NOT A GOOD IDEA and sooner or later that tail will wag that dog.

Weight distribution is NOT weight elimination

I'll say it again "Because I've never had a problem" and "A lot of people do it this way" are NOT justifications for advising someone to disregard something pertaining to safety.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:56 AM   #40
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I don't understand payload and axle weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Also funny how some people will quote manufacturers payload, tow and hitch weight ratings and lambaste anyone who disregards them.

But then they mount passenger tires or LT tires on their trailer even though tire manufacturers ( Michelin, Goodyear, Nokian, etc.) do not recommend, endorse or warranty the placement of those tires on a travel trailer.

And even though Airstream mounts some trailers with LT tires, Airstream will not warranty the tires or any damage to their trailers caused by tire damage,


Well this is a very good observation. I don't believe I'm a lambaster on the mfg ratings issue (which I adhere to) but I am a Michelin P user. How do I manage that conflict?

I talked with Michelin and Airstream before finalizing the decision. Michelin absolutely does not recommend it nor do they warrant them when used on trailers. Airstream said their use would not violate my warranty (on my then new trailer). Not recommending is different than expressly forbidding and I asked about the DOT standard we've all seen quoted here a million times (de-rating P tires when used on a trailer). While Ps are not recommended for that application, that standard is used when manufacturers or owners make that decision (which suggests it is not only not illegal, it's anticipated) so as long as the derated capacity** carries the load, they are ok for that purpose mechanically even though the manufacturer doesn't recommend it.

** most think the total capacity is a 9% reduction but it's actually closer to 15% in total as the same regulation also says you can't use more than 94% of that DERATED capacity figure. All my scale tickets show I have about 20% spare capacity over the derated load so I am comfortable with that choice. I am, however, seriously considering the American made GYE ST tire if early users confirm it as a better choice than the GYM. But that's another bunch of threads.
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